Do I care about a Microsoft ecosystem unification?

Today, Mary Jo Foley, over at ZDNet asks (read for full context) if we, the developers, care if the future Microsoft ecosystem runs the same software core. That is, how important is it for us to develop once, run anyway in the MS ecosystem.

My first thought is that it’s not so hot right now, so anything closer to a unified core is better. Technically I guess Microsoft *could* make it worse, and that would simply frustrate developers, but mostly it would just hurt their business value.

Then I think well it also depends on how much effort is involved to adapt. Like she alludes too in the article, HTML5 is a good approach, and if the effort is small then unified or not, I don’t believe it’s a big deal either. For example, maybe Visual Studio 2012(?) could be smart enough to simply change the build target? (You can always hope right)

Also, if you are writing consumer retail apps then you probably care more about a unified core than some who is writing LOB’s for an external client. A LOB may contain only a handful of scenarios that users/corporations would care to run on every device. And at the end of the day we just do what we’ve always done and adjust the scope/cost and possibly approach, to reflect the level of difficulty in making these wishes happen.

Ultimately, I’m more concerned/curious/bothered by what Win8 will and won’t support. And how and what is happening with WPF, Silverlight, etc… and porting stuff to that new API set? Unification is a great target to shoot for but right now there’s bigger issues at hand. And who knows, maybe after the September Build conference all our developer dreams will be realized.  (Or we may all jump off a cliff)

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